Book Reviews, Four Stars

The Secret Library Review: The Edge of Dark by Pamela Hartshorne


“Be careful what you wish for. Jane believes in keeping her promises, but a deathbed vow sets her on a twisting path of deceit and joy that takes her from the dark secrets of Holmwood House in York to the sign of the golden lily in London’s Mincing Lane. Getting what you want, Jane discovers, comes at a price. For the child that she longed for, the child she promised to love and to keep safe, turns out to be a darker spirit than she could ever have imagined.
Over four centuries later, Roz Acclam remembers nothing of the fire that killed her family – or of the brother who set it. Trying on a beautiful Elizabethan necklace found in the newly restored Holmwood House triggers disturbing memories of the past at last – but the past Roz remembers is not her own . . .”

Four out of five stars!

forty years ofmagnificence (7)


            Roz Acclam is more familiar with other people’s pasts than her own. An events organiser and historian, Roz is offered a job in York, the city she was born in and the city where her family were killed in the fire started by her brother. In an effort to act professionally, Roz pushes aside her reservations and personal turmoil, but after trying on an Elizabethan necklace in her new workplace, she is plagued with the memories of Jane – a woman who once lived in Holmwood House centuries before.

When I first picked up this book, I expected it to be entirely historical, but Pamela Hartshorne presents the lives of both Roz and Jane as parallel to each other, and both stories are incredibly engrossing. The characters are well fleshed out and as a reader I was completely invested in their stories and their hardships, which made the book a difficult read at times because of the heartache and wrongs they both experienced.

Roz is a character who has fallen into the habit of ignoring her past and all its mysteries in favour of grafting to fulfil her hefty ambitions. She shares this determination with Jane, whose wish to become a mother is all-consuming, despite her spiteful mother-in-law and egotistical husband. It felt like a serious win to have two exceptionally strong, persistent women at the forefront of this story, who both still struggle with all that happens to them.

The Edge of Dark is a book I ended up reading more than I intended to every time I picked it up – it is an undeniable page-turner. The author shows of her many talents in this book, but particularly her knack for surprising her readers while still keeping us well informed. I loved the author’s style, and despite relentlessly tugging at my heartstrings, this book was still a joy to read.

My harshest criticism of The Edge of Dark would be that there isn’t much respite at all from the intensity of the story and the struggles of its characters, which does make it a little draining at times. Because it’s such a page-turner, you may be found passed out on the sofa, comatose.

The Edge of Dark is the perfect book for fans of anything supernatural, historical or a magical combination of the two. You can find The Edge of Dark on Amazon, or where I found it – in Hereford Library!


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